If you’re not as ancient as me you won’t remember the pea-soupers in London:
and I’d only been breathing for just under two years at the time so it’s not exactly a memory for me either, but by 1956 The Clean Air Act had been passed to reduce air pollution in the city. It was a slow response to a death-dealing polluting smog, slow for economic reasons, shame on them, but the Act was passed. Since then many laws have been passed to clean up the air we breathe but an unexpected side effect of the terrible death-dealing coronavirus pandemic has been cleaner air.
In the middle of May an expert in air pollution, Professor Frank Kelly from Imperial College, London, gave an interview to Radio 4’s Jim Al-Khalili on The Life Scientific. He said there’d been a reduction of approximately 50% of the gas nitrogen dioxide in the air during the pandemic: nitrogen dioxide particles generate free radical activity in our lungs. Professor Kelly also hoped that the clear blue skies we’ve all seen and the birdsong we’ve all heard will stay in our memories and prompt us to think seriously about our environment and the air we breathe as we move out of lockdown and into the next decade.
In early June, several groups and organisations wrote to the Prime Minister calling for a green economic recovery from the pandemic: may their calls for action be met so that the air we breathe is kept clean for future generations.
And if you or anyone you know is feeling lonely and/or isolated and in need of a friendly telephone conversation centred on a poem, The Reader has a wonderful initiative:Here’s what they say: at The Reader we know not everyone can join online activities, so while we can’t meet face to face, our staff and volunteers are offering a weekly phone call to those needing comfort and connection. We’ll partner you with one of our friendly volunteers who’ll call you each week for a chat and to share a poem.
Call 0151 729 2250 between 10am and 4pm, Monday – Friday or email firstname.lastname@example.org and quote Finding Connection.